FROM Darrell Steinberg
Where Is $9 Billion in Unused Bonds? Governor Brown says, "Caution is not really the right path" when it comes to creating jobs and stimulating the economy. He wants President Obama to invest in sewers, schools and roads, just as Franklin Roosevelt did during the Great Depression. LA Times columnist George Skelton says , "Brown can look right under his nose and find $9 billion for thousands of paychecks."
Letting Cities Raise Their Own Taxes California's $25 billion budget gap will be partly closed by $12 billion in spending cuts passed by the Assembly and Senate. Republicans have refused to allow a statewide vote on a $12 billion tax increase to make up the rest. Now the President Pro Tem of the State Senate, Democrat Darrell Steinberg, has introduced a plan to allow cities, counties and school districts to raise taxes on their own.
Will California Ever Get a Budget? This year's legislative session is about to come to an end, with the state budget two months overdue and likely to remain so. Governor Schwarzenegger has already said it may have to wait until his successor is sworn in next year.
$40 Billion Hole in State Budget Stays Empty California faces a $40 billion deficit over the next two years, but in a few weeks it will run out of money to pay for operating expenses. Governor Schwarzenegger says new taxes are needed, but Republicans in the legislature won't go along. Democrats have a majority, but not enough to provide the two-thirds vote required for new taxes. They have been negotiating with Schwarzenegger on an $18 billion stop-gap, but today talks broke down. We get an update and learn more about the "dysfunctionality" of California government.
CBO: Under GOP plan, millions will lose coverage Republicans are divided and Democrats are saying, "we told you so," when it comes to official estimates of what it will cost to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Trump White House says the Congressional Budget Office is just wrong.
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.